THE MARINE (2006)
Rating: 3 on 4 / Buy the DVD here
Tagline: John Cena is The Marine.
Directed by John Bonito
Starring John Cena, Kelly Carlson and Robert Patrick
THE PLAN: A Marine is forced out of the Marine Corps for being a supreme badass and moves back home to his smokiní hot wife. After failing at being a civilian, the two decide to take a vacation and happen to fill-up their gas tank at the same station where a group of diamond thieves unleash a murder spree. When the wife is taken hostage, the Marine goes all-out ballistica to get her back.
THE KILL: After Arnold Schwarzenegger all-but retired from acting to become the Governor of California and Sylvester Stallone was stuck in a rut and doing shit like DRIVEN, the beefed-up action heroes were almost completely extinct. Vin Diesel had a few flicks under his belt as did The Rock, but both were doing more and more family-friendly comedies and it looked like the action hero was going the way of Tobey Maguire and Matt Damon. Then John Cena, wrestler superstar of the WWE, followed in the footsteps of The Rock and busted onto the scene with the action extravaganza THE MARINE, setting up a career that could have followed in The Rockís or Arnoldís footsteps. Sadly, THE MARINE was Cenaís one-hit-wonder (he followed it up with 12 ROUNDS, which blew donkey balls), but itís still one helluva fun ride!
The film starts out like a scene straight out of COMMANDO, with Cena in camouflaged Marine garb, and taking out an entire room full of bad guys while saving a gaggle of hostages from immediate doom. This scene alone would have propelled the film into REEL ACTION awesomeness, as thereís so much rapid fire / explosive action with a body count to match that blows most PG-13 action movies out of the water. From then on you know the film is going to be one entertaining ride and, for the most part, it keeps it up through the duration of the flick. And for an action movie to keep its momentum going from start to finish in this day in age is pretty damn good.
But what makes it a REEL ACTION contender? Well, for starters, the film has it all: car chases, explosions, fist-fighting, tons of broken glass, two super-hot chicks, one total badass of a villain, a high body count, and a muscle-bound meathead that will have you reminiscing about the golden days of Ď80s action flicks. It might have been released with a PG-13 rating, but as it also rocks a stellar UNRATED version on DVD, thereís really nothing to complain about when it comes to THE MARINE. It may not be as hardcore as something like FASTER or THE EXPENDABLES in terms of utilizing F-bombs and excessive violence, but it does deliver in the entertaining department and exposing the younger generation to the action genre.
Thatís the one thing about THE MARINE that people will either appreciateóor despise: itís action-light for the PG-13 crowd. Sure, it has all the elements of a true and blue action extravaganza, but the tone is light, the blood splatter is nil and the ass-kicking is somewhat cartoony. The villains are bad (but not that bad) and you know exactly whatís gonna happen (good guys win, bad guys lose). Itís action movie 101, or action movie for dummies, but you know what? Iím ok with that. And if something like this gets younger audiences to check out bigger and better action flicks (like T2 or COMMANDO), then Iím all for it! Everyone has stepping stones to learning the zen of REEL ACTION, and THE MARINE is essentially stepping stone numero uno for lots of folks.
Having Robert Patrick as the bad guy going head-to-head with a younger version of Schwarzenegger is damn fun to watch (watch for the snarky TERMINATOR reference!), as is Kelly Carlson as Cenaís super-hot wife. Though, it must be said, that Carlson shed more clothes on the TV show NIP/TUCK than she does in THE MARINE, but what she does shedÖ is pretty smokiní hot. The rest of the cast includes your typical bad guys and slimeballs, with a few wrestlers showing up for good measure and putting on a solid ass-kicking in a shack in the middle of a swamp. Good times were had all-around with solid efforts performed by everyone in this bad boy.
John Cena made a name for himself as a pro-wrestler and could have been the next Schwarzenegger on the big screen with the action flick THE MARINE paving the way. Unfortunately he followed this up with Renny Harlinís piece of shit 12 ROUNDS and has all-but faded from cinematic memory. But that take anything from THE MARINE being a fun-filled action flick packed full of car chases, gun fights, explosions, and serious hand-to-hand combat. If you're for a solid 85 minutes of action to get newbies to the action genre hooked, there's no need to look any further than THE MARINE!
Trailer for THE MARINE!
TOP DEATH: While Robert Patrick's death is sweet, there's a kill during the opening sequence that take's the cake. One dude gets shot up with a machine gun at close range and then is used as a shield--it might not sound amazing, but the execution is actually quite brutal.
TOP ACTION SCENE: The opening sequence rocks in terms of balls out, guns blazing excitement, but there's also the car chase sequence with Cena in a windowless cop car and the bad guys in his stolen truck that will have you on the edge of your seat and cheering for more.
TOP HOMOEROTIC MOMENT: I didn't get the fifey vibe from any one moment other than this being a movie starring a pro-wrestler.
FEMALE EXPLOITATION: Kelly Carlson is one fine piece of ass and while she doesn't get fully naked, she rocks a scene in her bra and that's just fine with me. One of the bad chicks is pretty hot too, but she don't reveal nothing except what a monumental bitch she is.
Robert Patrick: Would somebody *please* shoot this guy?
Anthony Ray Parker: What does it look like we're doin'?
Robert Patrick: Missing.
DRINKING GAME: Every time Cena reminds you of a young Arnold Schwarzenegger, you have to drink!
TRIVIA: THE MARINE was originally conceived as a vehicle for Steve Austin. But due to contractual obligations, the deal fell through and the role went to John Cena.